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LOCAL BRIEFS: Hiking challenge, 'Falls Festival' showcased, Night at the Museum, Train Tales

Strawberry Gap Trail is one of the hikes in Conserving Carolina’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge. Strawberry Gap Trail is one of the hikes in Conserving Carolina’s White Squirrel Hiking Challenge.

Here's the hikes in White Squirrel Challenge

The popular White Squirrel Hiking Challenge this year is made up of eight hikes featuring hidden gems away from the crowds, lovely waterfalls and mountain views, Conserving Carolina announced.

Hikers are invited to take part in hikes, all on lands that Conserving Carolina has helped protect, enhance or open to the public. This year’s challenge includes a stunning new trail in the Hickory Nut Gorge, a waterfall in North Carolina’s newest state forest, the breathtaking World’s Edge cliffs in Chimney Rock State Park. To get started visit

Hikers who take the challenge will see special land, including some that only opened to the public in the last few years. They will discover and connect on a deeper level with our natural world. They can also earn their White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 7 patch as a badge of honor and perks from Mast General Store. The eight hikes are:

  • Bearwallow Mountain Trail
  • Strawberry Gap Trail
  • DuPont Loop: Quarry and Rocky Bald
  • World’s Edge in Chimney Rock State Park
  • Green River Game Lands Loop to Stairstep Falls
  • Gravely Falls in Headwaters State Forest
  • Foothills Equestrian Nature Center Trails
  • Alexander’s Ford in Bradley Nature Preserve


Carolina Village's 'Falls Festival' to be showcased at national expo

A fall prevention initiative developed by Carolina Village will be showcased at the International Council on Active Aging Conference and Expo in Anaheim, California, later this month.

The goal of the conference is to share successful ideas among retirement communities.

“Protect your gourd: Creating a large-scale fall reduction event” will be presented at the conference on Oct. 31. The presentation will detail the award-winning large-scale fall reduction festival that took place at Carolina Village last November.

The interdisciplinary initiative was created by Carolina Village Wellness Coordinator Aleen Dailey, Director of Therapy Sara Fink and Resident Nurse Savannah Tadlock. It started as an idea to get residents excited about classes and services already offered at Carolina Village. The ultimate goals, however, were to enhance residents’ quality of life and to prevent falls. It morphed into a week-long “Falls Festival” that incorporated wellness, therapy, nursing, dining services and external community partners, such as the Council on Aging. In addition to attending more than 20 workshops, lectures, lunch-and-learns and social events over the course of the week, festival attendees played cornhole, went on a Park Stroll, ate lunches designed specifically to promote bone health and more.

“The selection committee was extremely selective in choosing presenters from many talented professionals who submitted proposals for our consideration,” said Julie Milner, ICAA chief operating officer.

The ICAA conference focuses on educating professionals in retirement, assisted living, rehabilitation, wellness, fitness and recreation fields.

“We are very proud and honored that Aleen, Sara and Savannah were selected to present at the ICAA conference,” Carolina Village CEO Kevin Parries said. “It’s wonderful to see others recognize their dedication and commitment to keeping residents active and healthy. I’m sure other communities will be inspired by the work they’ve been doing here.”

The Falls Festival initiative in May received LeadingAge North Carolina’s 2023 Excellence in Innovation award in May. Carolina Village is planning an even more robust festival Nov. 13-17 when Dailey will present “Power Training: Can It Work in a Group Fitness Setting?”

Accounts payable tech is Employee of the Month

Mitchell Smith, an accounts payable technician known for his calm manner and responsive work, was honored as Teammate of the Month at UNC Health Pardee, the hospital announced last week. In his role with the accounting department, Smith works in conjunction with other departments to get hospital vendors paid in a timely manner.

“I really enjoy working with an organization that is such a large part of the community,” said Smith, who recently celebrated his one-year anniversary with Pardee. He added that his favorite part of his job is working with his teammates in accounting, and he is proud to be a part of the department.

Colleagues noted that Mitchell is helpful, hardworking and kind.

“Mitchell goes out of his way by answering my questions, following up and sending information to share with vendors about their payment,” they said. They added that they appreciate Mitchell’s timeliness in responding to questions. “Mitchell is always calm, responsive, and takes care of the job with impressive professionalism.”

The Teammate of the Month award is given to a Pardee employee who positively contributes to achieving the organization’s mission, vision and goals. The winner is selected by a committee of peers and recognized for going above and beyond regular duties to support patients, customers, peers, the organization and community.

Cemetery maintenance training offered Oct. 21

EDNEYVILLE — The Henderson County Cemetery Advisory Committee will host cemetery maintenance training on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Kings Grove Church Cemetery, 2798 Pace Road. Hands-on training in cleaning and straightening tombstones begins at 9 a.m. 

The training covers landscaping care around stones and markers, how to safely clean gravestones (marble, sandstone, granite and historic masonry) and how to properly raising and level gravestones. The instructor is Warren Scott, a gravestone conservator. For more information or to register contact Toby Linville at 828-694-6627 or Attendees are advised to register soon, as class size is limited.

Saluda Depot hosts Night at the Museum

The Saluda Historic Depot will host the second annual Night at the Museum at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27. The evening will include nine historical vignettes performed by Depot volunteers and other familiar Saluda residents dressed as characters from Saluda’s past. Visitors will travel back in time where they will meet such historical figures as Capt. Charles Pearson, Dr. Lesesne Smith, Pitt Bellew and Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Food and beverages will be served in the Moon Glass garden area. The Saluda Visitor Center will be open and there will also be live music for your enjoyment.

Although Night at the Museum is a free community event, space is limited and reservations must be made. To RSVP, contact Nita High at 828-747-8692 or The event is made possible by a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.

Veterans get free rides and free lunch Nov. 11

In recognition of their service, veterans are invited to ride in antique and classic cars, trucks, jeeps and military vehicles to Veterans Day services at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Saturday, Nov. 11.

Vehicles will assemble at the American Legion Post 77 on Washington Street at 9 a.m. A Sheriff’s Office escort will lead the veterans caravan to the park at 9:30 a.m. Please be sure to arrive at the legion post by 9 a.m. U.S. Rep. Chuck Edwards will be on hand to ride with the veterans caravan.
From 10 to 11 a.m., WTZQ radio will interview veterans live on the air. This is an opportunity for veterans to share the story of their service. Following the Veterans Day service, which begins at 11 a.m., a lunch will be provided at Forest Lawn.

In another Veterans Day event, the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall will be on display at the Veterans Healing Farm, 38 Yale Road, in Horseshoe, Nov. 8-12.

The treaty that ended World War took effect at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Between WWI and WWII Nov. 11 was as commemorated as Armistice Day in the United States, Great Britain and France. After World War II, the holiday was recognized as a day of tribute to veterans of both wars and in 1954 was renamed Veterans Day.

The Transylvania Cruisers Car Club invites all owners of classic and antique cars, trucks, jeeps and military vehicles to participate in honoring veterans. For more information, contact Bruce Hatfield at 828-329-4971

N.C. broadcasters to create museum

North Carolina radio and television broadcast leaders this week announced the launch of the North Carolina Broadcast History Museum, a non-profit corporation dedicated to preserving the state’s broadcasting legacy.

North Carolina has a rich broadcast history starting as early as March 1902 when radio pioneer Reginald Fessenden transmitted a 127-word voice message from his Cape Hatteras transmitter tower to Roanoke Island. Fast forward to July 23, 1996, when WRAL-TV became the first television station in the United States to broadcast a digital television signal.

North Carolina is home to a number of legendary broadcast personalities, including Andy Griffith, born in Mount Airy, Charles Kuralt and David Brinkley from Wilmington, Jim Nantz, ABC sportscaster from Charlotte, and National Public Radio newscaster Carl Kasell from Goldsboro.

The museum is seeking assistance from the public and people who worked in broadcasting to collect artifacts, documents, photographs and recordings that chronicle the history of prominent radio and television stations, broadcasters, programs and events. Through exhibits and collections, the museum seeks to highlight the contributions made by North Carolina broadcasters in shaping the industry and the state’s culture landscape.

A distinguished group of broadcast professionals leading the effort include Don Curtis, CEO, Curtis Media Group; Jim Goodmon, CEO, Capitol Broadcasting Co.; Wade Hargrove, media lawyer; Harold Ballard, Broadcast Engineer; Caroline Beasley, CEO, Beasley Media Group; Carl Venters Jr., Broadcast Executive; David Crabtree, CEO, North Carolina Public Media; Dr James Carson, Broadcast Executive; Jim Babb, Broadcast Executive; Cullie Tarleton, Broadcast Executive and former member of the N.C. House of Representatives; Dave Lingafelt, Broadcast Executive; Carl Davis, Jr., Broadcast Engineer; Jim Heavner, Broadcast Executive; and Mike Weeks, Broadcast Executive.

The North Carolina Broadcast History Museum website will serve as a digital repository accessible by the public that will grow in content and importance as items are gathered and displayed. The museum website is under construction and available at Future plans include a brick-and-mortar facility for education, inspiration and enjoyment.


Lifelong collector speaks at Train Tales

Lifelong rail enthusiast Bo Brown will be the guest speaker at the Saluda Historic Depot’s monthly Train Tales at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10. The current national vice president of the Railroadiana Collectors Association Inc., Brown will be speaking on “Remembering the Railroad Porters and Their Vital Role.”

An avid railroad memorabilia collector, he started collecting railroad antiques when he was 12 years old.  His grandfather, who worked for Southern Railway for more than 40 years, gave him a Southern “shorty” lantern, a long-neck oiler and a silver Southern thermos, beginning a lifetime pursuit of collecting Southern Railway items.

When not on the trail of another relic, Brown spends his time helping families in his community as the owner of the Howze Mortuary in Travelers Rest, S.C.